Roaring Midnight PROLOGUE

Author: Colleen Gleason

Series: Macey Gardella #1

Genres: Fantasy , Romance

~ A Warning ~

Chicago, 1925

Sebastian Vioget placed his palms on the bar and leaned forwaraughter of Max Denton- the mand. The large ruby signet on his left hand glinted in the golden light. On his right five fingers were the ever-present copper rings that had once belonged to Lilith the Dark. Sebastian allowed his eyes to glow just enough to give the man on the other side of the counter a clear warning. "If Iscariot or Alvisi get to her before she's ready, I'll kill you."

The other man was swarthy as a Gypsy, with too-long black hair and jet eyes. He shifted lazily, appearing unmoved by his host's threat. "You'd have to catch me first."

"You know very well I could." Sebastian eased back from his threatening stance. The bastard across from him was nearly as cocksure as his old friend and nemesis Max Pesaro. Damn good thing they were on the same side.

At least, as far as he knew.

He didn't trust the other man any more than he trusted anyone-aside from Wayren. Who, incidentally, had been annoyingly absent for the last decade or so.

His visitor, the last of the night's patrons-and one who could actually leave once it was dawn-chuckled. "Some day, I'm certain we'll find out if that's true. I'll even let you chase me after sunset to make it fair, Vioget. I wouldn't want you to cry foul." He lifted the fullest bottle of whiskey from the counter and gestured with it before slipping it into the inner pocket of his overcoat. "This is a far sight better than the hooch Capone peddles. My deepest gratitude."

"The Silver Chalice serves only the best, legal or no," Sebastian replied. "Always has, regardless of what continent it's in." The Volstead Act's prohibition of the manufacture or sale of alcohol was a ludicrous proposition. As if the United States government could control what he chose to ingest.

Hell, Sebastian had a hard enough time controlling it himself.

He refrained from glancing toward the bottles of the other type of libation he stocked-for himself only. Even the thought of the rich, heavy lifeblood filling those vessels was enough to make his gums throb and his fangs begin to unsheathe. The familiar need swelled, rushing inside him, pulsing through his body, turning his vision rosy.

He reached automatically for the silver vis bulla that hung beneath his shirt, sliding his fingers through the opening to touch the tiny cross. The holy metal burned, but he welcomed the subtle pain. It reminded him he could still feel.

It reminded him why he was still here.


He'd given everything for Giulia.

And for Victoria.

His guest didn't seem to notice Sebastian's discomfort; he was intent on adjusting his enveloping overcoat and hat. He always wore his in Mr. Starcasset's book.t - fedora unfashionably low over the forehead, to the eyebrows. "I'll be on my way then. See if there's any news on Capone, if Alvisi's made any move on him."

That likely meant the man was headed to The Blood Club. Where else would a vampire hunter go to find undead, or to extract information from the undead? Not that Sebastian approved of the way Chas Woodmore went about doing so, but he wasn't a judgmental sort. Not like Pesaro had been. And particularly in this case, when it was so bloody important, he didn't care how depraved Woodmore was.

"The sooner the better. We have to stay more than a step ahead of him and Iscariot. Once either of them find her-"

"I see her every day, on her way to and from her job, Vioget. They haven't found her yet. And they don't have any idea about me. She's safe for now."

"She has the book. It's only a matter of time until the dreams begin."

"And once that happens, you must convince her to accept."

I will.

The other man looked at him with those cold, dark eyes and Sebastian turned away. He didn't need Woodmore to see the desperation in his own gaze. The long promise and the sacrifices he'd made would be for naught if a single woman denied her legacy.

After a hundred and two years, one would have thought it would have become easier to wait. And accept.

But it hadn't.

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